America is at war with the Islamic State. Typically, citizens think this war comes in the form of drone strikes, signals intelligence and cooperation with regional partners. But that’s only part of the story.

Even while popular opinion has shunned U.S. “boots on the ground” in the Middle East, U.S. Special Operations Forces are the boots. They conduct complicated operations that take the fight to the Islamic State, fighting and dying in covert operations all across the globe. But the strategy might not be sustainable. 

This week on War College, freelance journalist Joseph Trevithick walks us through the ins and outs of the SpecOp’s war on Islamic State and the trick journalists have to use to uncover information about a class of warriors that does its best to go unnoticed.

The views expressed in this article are not those of Reuters News.